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If you are visiting Saranda then you should take a couple of hours and discover The Blue Eye. This natural phenomenon is a spring that is a constant 10 degrees, even at the heat of the summer.
The Blue eye’s water is so clear that you can see every little particle. It’s called the blue eye because the spring looks like an eye if you look from the metal watching tower above. Divers have dived as far as 50 meters down but have failed to go any further due to its length and the pressure that the spring holds. The surrounding nature is very beautiful. You can expect a dense forest and many colours, especially in spring!
How to get to Blue Eye/Syri i Kalter
To get to Blue eye you can either drive, catch a bus or a taxi.
Taxi: You can usually organise for a taxi to take you and wait for you there for around 20- 25 euros return. The drive takes about 20-30 minutes.
Bus: Otherwise you can catch the bus which heads towards Gijrokastёr. You can tell the driver ‘blue eye’ and he will drop you off at the entrance. Keep in mind that the entrance is around 2km from the actual blue eye. There’s a gravel path that will lead you there which you will share with buses and cars. You can ask someone who is driving to catch a ride with them. That’s the smartest idea as in the summer it can become extremely hot! On the way back it’s an uphill walk you most definitely should try and hitchhike!
When you want to go back to Saranda you can walk back to where the bus dropped you off and wave down the next one you see. The buses usually come by every hour.
How much does Syri i Kalter cost
The entrance fee depends on if you’re coming via car, walking or scooter. The entrance fee for the blue eye if coming by car is 200 Lek. There’s a couple of parking lots near the Blue Eye. They do not cost.
Can you go swimming in the Blue Eye
Officially no, you are not allowed to dive or swim into the blue eye however people still do. You have the option to walk a bit further down and go swimming there instead however please be mindful of nature. The rules are in place for a reason, to protect it.
Other things to do in the area
Unfortunately, there isn’t much to do nearby. There used to be restaurants and cafes but most of them were demolished as they were illegal buildings. These days there should be just one restaurant where you can have a drink or a bite to eat.
Most people spend an hour at the blue eye. My advice would be to take a packed lunch and enjoy a bite to eat out there.
My top tips for the Blue Eye in Albania
- Go early! This place gets busy with tour buses these days, unfortunately, so I advise going as early or late as you can.
- Be careful on the road. As I said above, tour buses are frequently driving down the bumpy dirt road to the blue eye and when you meet a bus you will be inclined to reverse until they can get past. The road is not good at all. There’s a lot of potholes and the road is not wide enough for a bus and a car at most points.
- Please take all your rubbish with you!! Do not litter the blue eye. Unfortunately, Albania has a big problem with rubbish, and it doesn’t need tourists adding to that problem. Leave the place how you found it. And if you do see rubbish please be a good tourist and help pick it up!
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